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Patients with cancer at higher risk of fractures and bruising

Research shows a heightened risk of injuries during the time of cancer diagnosis.
Cancer injuries

There is a heightened risk of patients with cancer sustaining injuries during diagnosis, says a large-scale study.

Clinicians are urged to develop prevention strategies following the research, published by the BMJ.

From simple bruising to serious fractures, all injury-related hospital admissions in Swedish patients with cancer were examined in the 20 years to 2010 totaling 720,901 medical records.

Injuries ranged from medical complications (such as infections or bleeding after invasive treatment) to bruising or fractures caused by accident or self-harm.

The study period 16 weeks before and after diagnosis was compared to a control period a year earlier.

Of patients checked; 7,306 had injuries from medical treatment while 8,331 had accident or self-harm injuries requiring hospital admission.

Younger patients were more susceptible to medical complications, while self-harm and accidental injury increased fivefold in the fortnight before cancer diagnosis,

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There is a heightened risk of patients with cancer sustaining injuries during diagnosis, says a large-scale study.

cancer injuries

Clinicians are urged to develop prevention strategies following the research, published by the BMJ.

From simple bruising to serious fractures, all injury-related hospital admissions in Swedish patients with cancer were examined in the 20 years to 2010 totaling 720,901 medical records.

Injuries ranged from medical complications (such as infections or bleeding after invasive treatment) to bruising or fractures caused by accident or self-harm.

The study period – 16 weeks before and after diagnosis – was compared to a control period a year earlier.

Of patients checked; 7,306 had injuries from medical treatment – while 8,331 had accident or self-harm injuries requiring hospital admission.

Younger patients were more susceptible to medical complications, while self-harm and accidental injury increased fivefold in the fortnight before cancer diagnosis, suggesting a high level of psychological stress.

Older patients were at higher risk of unintentional injury, though the authors concede ‘some injuries are hard to prevent completely, given intensive diagnostics and treatment’.

 

Shen Q et al (2016) Injuries before and after diagnosis of cancer: nationwide register based study. BMJ. doi: 10.1136/bmj.i4218

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